(259e) A Question of Scale: Equipment Size in Teaching Labs | AIChE

(259e) A Question of Scale: Equipment Size in Teaching Labs


Funkenbusch, L. - Presenter, University of Florida
Mérida Figueróa, F., University of Florida
Our primary goal when teaching a laboratory course is to provide hands-on applications and experiences with the concepts that students learn in the classroom. The first questions we ask ourselves are which concepts and what experiments. These choices are largely based on the specific industries that hire our students or research specialties of the faculty who teach or have taught the course.

The next question is then the scale of the experiment. The best educational experience is often said to match the scale of processes they will use in industry. This is usually prohibitive, in terms of facilities, lab space, maintenance/upkeep costs, safety, and run time. Out of necessity, we therefore shrink our equipment to pilot or smaller scale operations.

At the University of Florida (UF), we have a wide range of experiments in desktop/miniaturized, benchtop, and pilot-scale. In this talk, we will discuss the experiments we have at UF, student feedback for each scale of experiment, and the advantages/disadvantages that the scale of each experiment offers.